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Bernhard and Company grinders at New Sierra Golf in Murcia, Spain

Bernhard and Company grinders at New Sierra Golf in Murcia, Spain

Bernhard and Company grinders at New Sierra Golf in Murcia, Spain 1244 933 Natalia Pinto

Bernhard and Company grinders at New Sierra Golf in Murcia, Spain.

The construction of New Sierra Golf started many years ago, but it was never completed. The course was an abandoned field, and now the club is currently working towards having 18 holes in full operation by September 2023, which will be inaugurated with the tournament, La Superliga Región de Murcia.

As the golf club is based on the east coast of Murcia, it is in a prime location to attract people from all over the world. Ninety percent of the club’s regular members are from outside of Spain, from countries such as England, Germany, and the United States.

We caught up with Manuel Díaz López. Manuel is a technician, specialising in the management of natural spaces and occupational risk prevention, who also has a qualification in Golf Turf Management and Training, he has dedicated his career – spanning more than 15 years – to the maintenance of sports facilities and golf courses and is now the Head Greenkeeper at New Sierra Golf.

New Sierra Golf made a large investment into new machinery when they set about the objective of developing a fully operating 18-hole golf course. The process started when SURTEC, a leading consulting and engineering company that specialises in the development, construction, and maintenance of golf courses, conducted research on what type of machinery New Sierra should have to get the course in the best possible condition.

After that, Manuel presented the different machinery brands to the board of directors, and in the end, they determined, that to achieve their goal, it was essential to have Bernhard and Company grinders in the workshop. The Express Dual 4100 and the Anglemaster 3000MC  were the most appropriate machines for the type of maintenance that was required. At that stage, Guillermo Mas from Agronimer – the distributor for Bernhard and Company in the southern & Levante regions of Spain – helped the club through the purchasing process.

Manuel Díaz López said: “We know that there are other grinders from competitors that do a decent job, but the problem with them is that they are more complicated and less time-efficient, therefore mechanics take much longer to become proficient operating them.

“Our head mechanic, Maru, is delighted with the Bernhard machines; he really likes working with them. The truth is that Bernhard grinders are very intuitive to work with and they do the job very quickly. The machines are fast and easy to use; the controls are very intuitive and safe to use, of course, the results obtained later in the field are superb, which is what we are looking for. Efficiency is key.”

Staff training also plays a massive role in enhancing the capabilities of various team members and encourages commitment. The maintenance team at New Sierra Golf receives training from the various mower providers, and every time they buy a new unit, they retrain on how to best use them. Díaz added “The support provided by Bernhard and Company, especially Paul Wilcox, has been great, he dedicated two days to do training with the mechanic,  who was using these machines for the first time, and he soon learnt how to handle them and obtain the best results.”

Additionally, the method of keeping reels and bedknives sharp differs from course-to-course, or from one manager to another. No matter their method, the aim is to find out what is best for each facility.

Díaz continued: “Our sharpening schedule depends on the grass growth – mowers are used weekly, but we adjust the maintenance according to the turf needs. Here at New Sierra Golf, we have around thirteen mowers, each one has three or five cutting units. The mechanic measures the quality of the cut with the cutting strips daily before mowing the grass. As soon as the mechanic notices that the quality of the cut has deteriorated, he disassembles the units and sharpens them.”

Certainly, the more factors you measure, the more control you have over the golf course. Díaz added: “We have buckets to measure the volume of grass removed in litres every day. This daily control has been useful for us to work better with the Bernhard machines, as it allows us to determine how much grass we are removing and, if we notice a loss in volume, we know there is an issue – commonly, it is that the blade has lost its edge.”

At New Sierra Golf, there have been drastic improvements in the greens, which reflects the quality of the cut and the health of the plant, and of course, players also notice this when the ball rolls along the putting surface.

Bernhard and Company will continue to support their customer’s efforts to present the perfect playing conditions for golfers around the world.

Posted on: May 17, 2023